Badtux the Snarky Penguin

In a time of chimpanzees, I was a penguin.

Religious fundamentalists are motivated by the sneaking suspicion that someone, somewhere, is having fun -- and that this must be stopped.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Whew! Deadline!

And made it! Or as one of my co-workers put it, "Ship it!". (That's a joke, BTW -- the joke being that whenever we prototype a new product and demonstrate the initial alpha prototype to Marketing, Marketing's inevitable response is, "Ship it!" and we have to break it gently to them that it still needs refinement, a usability study, a beta test period, etc. :-).

Anyhow, my mom is spending her retirement travelling nowdays, and asked me what a good laptop computer would cost her. I told her around $1,000. She was quiet for a moment and then said she'd have to think about that (she and her husband are travelling around the country in a Honda car, staying at relative's houses, so they're not exactly spending lots of money). So a day later she called me back and said, "What if I give you $500 for your current laptop, and you buy a new one?"

Hmm, okay. I've been looking at the 13.3" laptops to make it easier to carry on a train or plain (my current 15.1" won't fully open in a normal airline or train seat, and it's a nuisance typing on a half-opened laptop!), and saw the Apple Macbook. I tried out the keyboard at Fry's Electronics, and it works for me. Apple had a problem with the thing randomly shutting down, but it appears that they found the problem (a sensor wire wearing through and indicating to the software that the CPU was overheating and had to be put to sleep immediately to prevent damage), and have fixed it with a new heat sink redesigned so it doesn't rub that wire. In addition, it runs Unix, so I wouldn't need to dual-boot Linux anymore to run my favorite Unix software.

The other laptop that I'm looking at is the Sony SZ series. It is the only other 13.3" laptop that I've tried out whose keyboard works for me. It has more USB ports, a memory card reader, a PC card slot, and other goodies. But it is also around $400 more expensive than a Macbook. Of course, once I bought a legal version of Windows XP for the Macbook, that price difference would be gone...

So it looks like I'm going to go ahead and get the Macbook. Comments?

-- Badtux the Maybe-Mac Penguin

Posted by: BadTux / 10/17/2006 08:00:00 PM  


It sounds like a sweet machine. I especially like the fact that it can run so many OSs (monoculture is not for me.)
# posted by Anonymous : 17/10/06 11:20 PM  

I've always been a PC person and have never used a Mac, but the kids have been using Apples since they started elementary school. All I know is what they say, which is that it is an easier and more stable platform than any Windows-based PC. My oldest kid has a Powerbook and loves it. I say go for it.
# posted by Red State Blues : 18/10/06 8:13 AM  

For what it's worth, the New Company bought me a MacBook Pro. It's a pretty, pretty machine, but I've had a bunch of problems with oddities in XQuartz and the like.
# posted by demimondian : 18/10/06 8:25 PM  

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I am a black and white and yellow multicolored penguin making his way as best he can in a world of monochromic monkeys.

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